Fiber interest remains high amid challenges

It's no surprise that much of AT&T's wireline capex budget for this year will be spent on its ongoing fiber network expansion, and there remains much enthusiasm for deployment of next-generation optical architectures.

However, 2008 may have been a tough year in the fiber network world, as capital spending generally slowed, and some companies focusing on various segments of the market, including gigabit passive optical networking and optical network terminal devices, experienced individual setbacks. Remember the promising development of the integrated ONT/broadband home router? Telephony reported recently that progress toward commercial deployment of an ONT/BHR seems to have stalled.

Meanwhile, the cable TV industry has increasingly come to be seen as ready to upgrade their traditional hybrid fiber coax architectures to something like RF over Glass or other fiber-to-the-premises solutions. That has spiked the interest of vendors such as Hitachi Telecom and Pacific Broadband Networks, which recently teamed up to develop an RFoG module. Yet, a recent Heavy Reading report suggested that cable TV firms may take their time with next-gen upgrades as the economy tries to find its footing and standards for the new technologies continue to be worked out.

These issues and many others are likely to be discussed at the OFC/NFOEC 2009 event later this month in San Diego.

For more:
- Cable Digital News covers the Heavy Reading report
- Telephony explores what happened to the ONT/BHR
- TMCnet has this post on the Hitachi-PBN partnership

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AT&T said some of its 2009 capex will go toward fiber expansion
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